The lesson

Lessons learned

With every painful moment there should be a lesson, shouldn’t there be?  When I was in the second grade my parents dropped me off at gymnastic practice and since I was early I decided I’d be cool and try some flips off the uneven bars.  When I fell off the top bar backwards, landing on my back and breaking my elbow, I learned instantly that being cool is extremely over-rated.  A lesson learned early which saved me from future rejections from those that deemed ‘coolness’ an entry requirement to their click.  I always hated clicks.

When I was in grade school my dad used to pick me up every day and as soon as I plopped my ‘then tiny’ butt into the truck he’d say, “What did you learn today?”  If I replied, “nothing,” he would stop the truck and tell me I better go back to school so I could figure out what it was I was supposed to learn and not to come back until I had.

I feel like I’m running in circles since my dad’s death trying to figure out exactly what lesson God was trying to teach me by taking my dad away.   People tell me it was God’s will but I have a hard time believing that.   I believe in God but do I believe in a God who purposely causes pain?  Sometimes at night when the I’ve finally escaped to the silence of my room, I stare at my dad’s  picture thinking that if I look long enough he’ll magically reveal the answers to all my questions.  I hold on to the little plastic rosary that I found in the hospital chapel; the one that I wrapped around my dad’s hands as I prayed harder than I’ve ever prayed in my life, and I try to have faith that someday this will all make sense.  I just cannot leave this place I am in right now;  This place decorated with shades of sadness where anger lurks around every corner.   It’s so hard to accept that the lesson in all of this just may be something I’m not ready to learn.  My dad was a wonderful teacher and I wish with all my heart that he could somehow some way give me the cliff notes to this story that’s been woven around me.

“A day without a lesson is a day wasted”, he used to say.  I pray that my dad taught those who had such little faith in his ability to live, a lesson they will carry with them for eternity.  The picture above is my dad at a speech rally.  It’s exactly how I want to remember him, as a teacher.

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